Why I Write by Dale E. Lehman – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dale E. Lehman will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why I Write

I’m probably an odd sort of writer. In school, my strengths ran to math and science more than language arts. My wife refers to me as a “numbers person” and to herself as a “words person.” (Together we make one well-rounded human being!) I like to read, but I don’t read terribly fast and haven’t read as widely as most writers. Writing well enough that people will consent to read my work has been a long, hard struggle, and although I’ve come a long way, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still learning. So why do I bother?

Because I love to tell stories. I’ve been writing stories since I was very young and writing in earnest since junior high school. I suspect a genetic component to this. My father wrote fiction and essays and poetry throughout his life, although I only found out a few years before he died of pancreatic cancer. One of my great uncles wrote a story about my great-great-great-grandfather’s epic migration from south central Ohio to western Ohio in the early 1800’s. (Okay, it doesn’t sound like much, but back then western Ohio was sparsely settled by European interlopers and still home to some of the indigenous peoples of the region.) My father had the manuscript retyped for distribution to family members and added an introduction in which he said, “The Lehmans have always been storytellers.” I don’t doubt it!

Indeed, although I usually think of storytelling in terms of writing, when I changed jobs a few years ago, a colleague I was leaving behind told me, “I’m going to miss your stories.” She wasn’t talking about my writing, but rather about the stories I told in the course of conversation. With some frequency, a discussion will remind me of some incident from my life or a tale I’ve heard from someone else, and I’ll relate it. It wouldn’t surprise me if a substantial percentage of my contributions to conversation are of this kind.

Writers write for all manner of reasons. The eighteenth century English writer Samuel Johnson famously said, “Nobody but a fool ever wrote for anything but money.” Most of us wouldn’t mind making money from writing, but few make very much and most—sorry, sir—write for reasons other than money without being fools. Some write to express their thoughts and beliefs. Some write in the hope of winning converts to a cause. Some write with stars or, yes, dollar signs in their eyes. But me?
I just enjoy telling you stories, and I very much hope that you’ll enjoy the stories I tell. I may be more numbers person than words person, and I may have to struggle more than some other writers to find the right word or phrase or image. But most days I can tell a darn good story.

Won’t you pull up a seat and listen?

The forecast: Record cold. The crimes: Colder still.

A saintly young veterinary technician disappears on Christmas Eve, leaving behind only a broken window and smears of blood on his clinic’s back steps. Two years later, his disappearance remains a mystery. A home in an exclusive area burns to the ground, mirroring fires ignited the previous year by an arsonist who now sits in prison. Is the new fire a copycat, or has the wrong man been convicted? A criminal with a long list of enemies is shot dead, and not even his friends are sorry. While temperatures plummet, cold cases collide with new crimes, and somewhere a killer with blood as icy as the waters of the Chesapeake Bay watches and waits.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Hannah took two pairs of latex gloves from her pocket and handed one pair to Harold. They pulled them on, careful not to rip them, then Harold eased up the short flight of wooden steps leading to the door, his footfalls quieter than a rabbit’s. He gently rotated the knob. Of course it was locked, but it never hurt to check. No sense smashing things if the owner had invited them in. Leaning to the left, he felt around the nearest window, examined it in detail, and gingerly tried to push up the lower sash. Again, no luck. Again, none expected.

Hannah tiptoed up the steps while he worked and stood close behind him. “Hammer,” she whispered, pulling the tool from her coat pocket and handing it to him like a nurse handing a scalpel to a surgeon.

He took the hammer and with a swift stroke smashed the pane, then cleaned the jagged shards from the sash with the head. Falling splinters chattered as they struck the floor inside. Once satisfied the opening was clean, he helped Hannah through the window. She moved so quietly she might have vanished, but in his mind Harold could see her go to the door, disarm the alarm with the code they had been given, and unlock the deadbolt. The door whispered open.

He slipped inside and eased the door shut, then took her face in his hands and kissed her on the forehead. She beamed, a dog basking in her master’s approval.

The very next instant, the job went horribly wrong.

About the Author: Dale E. Lehman is a veteran software developer, amateur astronomer, and bonsai artist in training. He is the author of the Howard County Mysteries series (The Fibonacci Murders, True Death, and Ice on the Bay ). His writing has also appeared in Sky & Telescope and a couple of software development journals. With his wife Kathleen he owns and operates One Voice Press and Serpent Cliff. They have five children, five grandchildren, and two feisty cats.

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Buy The Fibonacci Murders, True Death, and Ice on the Bay. Buy Ice on the Bay at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. James Robert says:

    Congrats on the tour and thank you for the excerpt and giveaway.

  2. Thanks for hosting!

  3. Lisa Brown says:

    I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour and I hope it is a fun one for you 🙂

  4. Thank you for having me! I hope you and your guests enjoy my post and our book. Feel free to ask questions. I’ll stop in throughout the day for discussion.

  5. The book sounds very intriguing.

  6. I think it’s pretty cool that you’re so interested in math and science. I didn’t like those subjects very much in school, but I’ve developed interests in them as an adult. How often do math and/or science play an important role in the stories you write?

    • I don’t generally write directly about math and science in my fiction, partly because I don’t want to scare anyone off. 😉 That said, my first Howard County Mystery, “The Fibonacci Murders,” deals with a series of killings based on the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical series in which each number is the sum of the previous two. The math is not overwhelming, but there is a mathematician involved, Tomio “Tom” Kaneko, who has cameo roles in both HCM #2 (“True Death”) and HCM #3 (“Ice on the Bay”).

      I do work a bit of astronomy into my novels from time to time. Astronomy was my first love, and throughout my childhood I wanted to be an astronomer. I mention the night sky from time to time in my stories, and the subject of light pollution intrudes on occasion. More directly, I am currently shopping around a science fiction/humor novel titled “Space Operatic” which is set on the fringes of our solar system in the inner Oort Cloud. Obviously a bit more science is involved in that.

      • What a thorough answer. Thank you for it, and I hope your science fiction books finds a publisher soon. It sounds interesting.

        • I hope it does, too. I think it’s pretty good. (Well, I would, wouldn’t I?) You can follow me on Facebook or Twitter, or sign up for my newsletter at my website, DaleELehman.com, so you’ll be among the first to know if and when I get it published. Thanks again!

  7. Thanks so much, Dale, for sharing your book and your thoughts on writing.I especially appreciate the excerpt. I was wondering how you decided on the price for your book.

    • You’re quite welcome, and I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpt. For pricing, we do a cost analysis on the paperback and aim for a reasonable margin (20% at a minimum, more if possible). However, we also try to take into consideration what other books of similar nature and size are selling for, so sometimes it’s a compromise. For ebooks, we settled on three price points based on size and content. Most of our books we price at $4.99. The “popular” price points have fluctuated over time, from what I have seen in articles on the subject. I’m not a fan of free or super-cheap ebooks. I feel a writer deserves reasonable compensation for their work, just like anyone else. Besides, if it’s too cheap, people might expect the product to be cheap. Having a somewhat higher price also allows one to run occasional sales to attract new customers.

  8. Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. 🙂

  9. Really great post, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. Dale Wilken says:

    Sounds great

  11. Thank you again for having me. I enjoyed stopping by and talking with everyone. Please visit my author website (https://www.DaleELehman.com). You can read more about my writing, plus some of book reviews I’ve been doing on other up-and-coming indie authors, and sign up for my newsletter. See you there!

  12. James Robert says:

    Have a terrific Tuesday! Thanks again for the chance at winning and all you do for us.

  13. James Robert says:

    Good Afternoon, Happy Saturday! Hope it’s a fun day for you and that you also get time to yourself to relax and get “me” time. Thanks for all the hard work you do bringing us this great giveaway.

  14. James Robert says:

    Hello! Stopping by to thank you again for the chance at winning. Have a fun Sunday!

  15. Bernie Wallace says:

    Which book have you read the most? Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

    • I’d be hard pressed to say. I don’t reread books all that frequently. I know I’ve read “The Lord of the Rings” at least 3 times, maybe 4 (and am due for a re-read). I’ve reread some of Ray Bradbury’s works a few times, and some fun science fiction short story collections by Keith Laumer. That’s about the best I can do with my rusty memory…

  16. James Robert says:

    Hello and Happy Tuesday! Stopping by to thank you for the chance at winning. You’re Terrific!

  17. James Robert says:

    Good Morning and how’s it going? I am back to thank you and want you to know I appreciate you and thank you for the giveaway. I know you work hard for all of us.

  18. James Robert says:

    Hello and Happy Thursday! Going to be a snowy one in Michigan after all these nice days we had. I don’t want any more snow. Thanks again for the chance at winning and hope your day is awesome!

  19. The “Ice on the Bay” tour has about come to an end. Best of luck to everyone on the raffle. Please visit me at my website, and if you can pick up a copy of “Ice on the Bay.” (Links are above.) Thank you all for following along!

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